What the Heck Should I Really Eat?

Monday Aug 26 | BY |
| Comments (50)

I was planning to publish an article about what we feed Hudson (our son) today. In fact, was almost 3/4 written when I received an email from a reader that I felt was more relevant to address.

The reason being is that she probably feels very similar to how you may feel from time to time when you’re trying to make sense of all the health information available online these days (yes, including what you read here on Renegade Health, too!)

The email, from Jollean, was long and filled with questions.

The title: “I’m confused and I’d appreciate if you would help me to understand this.”

Here’s a snippet of it:

I am 56 years old and I have been reading information since I was in my 20s about how to eat healthy. The more I read, the more confused I became. I have tried every kind of diet there is and I’m still not sure how I should be eating. At one time, I ate a lot of fruit, then there were years when I didn’t eat any fruit. I used to eat meat, then I went years without eating any meat, dairy and eggs. Then, I felt like I was not getting enough protein and I started eating turkey or chicken, fish, and eggs again.

I decided to write to you and ask you what you eat. I really want to know how I should eat. I can’t take the confusion and contradictions any more.

Confusion and contradictions are what first started my own path of health research. I wanted to find the truth. The one diet that would work.

But over time I’ve learned I was searching for something that didn’t quite exist — or at least didn’t exist in the way that I had imagined it.

So if you feel confused or just read two different articles on the same day that are on opposing ends of the spectrum about a certain food (coffee, kale, chocolate, wine…) this article may be exactly what you need to get clear about your own health and own personal diet.

Kev, what do you eat?

First up, Jollean asked me what I eat on a regular basis — a question I get a lot.

I will tell you that I eat real, clean, organic foods. That’s about how much I want to define my diet these days.

If you had asked me that question 3-4 years ago, I would have said a raw food, vegan diet. The problem is, that diet didn’t work for me. So the value in me telling you what I eat is pretty much worthless.

Here’s why…

1. It might change over time. Anything on put on the Internet or in a book could be viewed as my present truth when in fact it isn’t. For example, Harvey Diamond who wrote Fit For Life, has long since eaten differently than what was outlined in that book. I know many people who still follow his book and even start out on a new diet because of it. That doesn’t mean it’s right or wrong, it’s just not Harvey Diamond’s truth anymore.

So if I list a bunch of foods that I’m eating, you may assume it’s working for me, when in fact, I may find out a day later it’s not and I change. I don’t want to live with the overbearing weight of attempting to find and update everything I’ve ever written or filmed every time I decide kombucha is good or bad for me. (Right now, I’m on the good for you side, BTW.)

2. For me the raw food diet didn’t work. It messed up my hormones and digestion. This, at least to me, means what I’m doing right now may not work as well in the future.

Ask anyone who knows me and they’ll tell you that I’m an avid experimenter. So, ultimately, there’s little value in me sharing what I eat in the moment, particularly when I know it may not work out the way I expected.

So with that out of the way, Jollean, I want to get into the core of what you’re asking.

“What should I eat?”

Unfortunately, we’re so far removed from our ancestral knowledge that we’ve don’t even know how to properly do the third most important thing our bodies need to do to survive — eat. (First being breathing and second drinking — and I’d even argue that we don’t even know how to do those right as well, LOL)

Imagine an eagle up in the sky peering down at both a mouse and a patch of wild sunflowers. Does he question which food has more essential fatty acids? Or the ethics of eating a living being or not? Does he wonder what Dr. Eagle from New York would say on primetime TV about his decision to eat one or the other?

Of course not. The eagle is hardwired to eat the mouse.

We’re more complicated, since we’re as omnivorous as a garbage disposal, but that doesn’t mean that some foods are better than others.

Ultimately, in my own study, I’ve found these two things to be true.

First, individuals cannot strictly rely on what one health expert says, since we have our own bio-individuality that factors into what we’re supposed to eat.

And, second, there are certain factors that I’m sure can affect what we eat — and even more confusing — they can change over time.

I’ll go through some of them now.

Genetic Factors

If we all were from the same lineage, it may be easy to decide what we need to eat. So for instance, if we all were transported to the same place right now — say Sardinia, eating the same foods, living the same lifestyle, and in the same time in history we’d see a few things happen.

We’d see some people not thrive because their genetics aren’t adapted to this type of situation and eating and we’d see others thrive.

Eventually, over time, those who thrive will have children who will thrive as well. Those who don’t will have children who have complications and eventually they may not even be able to reproduce.

This has happened throughout history due to our nomadic nature. Our tribe moves away to another place and those who can adapt now have a new diet, those who don’t, well they don’t have a diet at all. (Or they send themselves “to Belize,” if you happen to be a Breaking Bad fan.)

In a more controlled, more specific example, horses over the period of a few generations can be bred to have certain characteristics based solely on what they’re fed. This means they can either live longer or shorter, they can be taller or shorter, slower or faster — just because they were fed a certain diet.

It would be foolish to think that we’re immune to these genetic changes when we switch or are adapting to a new diet.

Weston Price’s work that shows declining mouth and tooth structure once processed white flour and sugar were introduced into the diets of tribal people is a good example of this — food, over time, changing genetics.

But anyway, to get back to why this causes confusion — you have a set of genes that has adapted in some ways to eating a certain way. This way may or may not be the way that Dr. So-and-So writes about on the Internet. So if you listen to him or her and it doesn’t work, you wonder if anyone really knows what they’re talking about (and you may be right.)

Allergies and Overload

Unfortunately, most of us live in an environment with compounding factors that affect our health. EMFs, GMOs, noise pollution, light pollution, molds, artificial hormones, pesticides, herbicides, outgassing furniture and construction materials, environmental pollution, etc.

That list isn’t to scare you, it’s just the reality of our modern times. Some people may be sensitive to these things more than others. Some may be fine until just one other is added to their environment and they get sick.

So your overload or allergies could be caused by the black mold in your basement, or it could be caused by GMOs, or it could be caused by the casein in the milk of a Holstein cow, but not a Jersey cow. We don’t know, but I can tell you that if you’re trying to determine the right diet for you and are still getting allergies not because of your diet, but because you’re sensitive to your outgassing couch, you’ll be confused for life (or until you get a non-toxic couch.)


If you’re toxic, you may not be able to eat the diet that is best for you.

You could find two people of equal genetics that should thrive on the same diet, but if one is loaded up with mercury toxicity, it’s going to seem that the diet works for one and not the other.

This can thoroughly confuse the argument of what to eat, particularly if no one knows the individual has high mercury levels.

This reaches far wider than mercury. Toxins from plastics, packaging, in skin care, in foods, fragrances, colorings, and many more may cause unknown discrepancies in what you can or cannot eat and feed the confusion.

Quality of Food

Your corn from Connecticut might be more nutritious for you than your corn from Texas. It may contain more minerals. It may be grown beyond organic standards. But to the eye, it looks like corn.

It’s completely possible that you could believe you’re eating the same diet as someone who appears healthy, but the quality of your food just isn’t the same. Then you, in turn, would get lesser results.

This, again, can totally confuse you and your perception of what is healthy or not.

Mental Attitude

How do you feel about yourself?

Positive mental attitude can dramatically affect your longevity. Though my own personal research, I’m pretty confident that stress and negativity is just as bad (or maybe worse) than processed flour and processed sugar.

If that’s the case, someone’s mental wellbeing needs to be factored into the “diet” equation. I don’t know how much, but it cannot be left out.

So, as you can imagine, this might cause some confusion about what foods are healthy and what are not — particularly since most researchers won’t even look at this as a factor since it’s not something you eat.

Our way is not the only way.

There are other factors that I can list like exercise (and quality of it) and family relationships and life’s purpose, but what I’m getting at is that there are too many factors to control in order to find the right diet for us as a whole population and species — it’s become too difficult. I would argue that the right diet doesn’t even exist anymore. Maybe this is why so many people are confused. They’re all searching for the equivalent of a dietary Loch Ness Monster.

What’s easier, I’ve found, to determine is the right diet for you — regardless of what the experts say.

The hardest part of this, is that it means you have to do some of the work on your own.

How do you know what diet is right for you?

Through my own health journey, I’ve determined the best way to find out what is working and what is not is twofold.

First, you have to find and work with a practitioner that you trust.

Second, you have to use blood testing to determine if what you’re doing is really working or not.

Find a good coach

Any good businessman or woman has a mentor. All my sports heroes have coaches. Even the fictitious X-Men have Professor Charles Xavier as their leader and elder (BTW: I’m totally into these movies right now, LOL.)

If you want to have a great body and great diet, then get a coach. We use Dr. J.E. Williams. You may have someone else you trust, but most importantly, you need someone who can look at your own individual factors and give you advice based on what is going on in your world — not in generalities on the Internet or TV or the healthy food potluck.

To find a coach near you, you can start your search on FunctionalMedicine.org. Here you’ll find doctors who understand physiology and pathology, but also understand that medicines aren’t always the solution to our modern health issues.

Get your blood tested

Once you find your coach, then it’s time to get your blood tested. (Or urine, or stool, or saliva.) A good practitioner will listen to you and determine what tests will give them the best information about your body and then take you through what they see.

Once you’re tested, you can then make changes and test again to determine if your markers are moving in the right direction or not.

Confusion? Almost Gone.

Working with a practitioner and reading your own blood tests, I’ve found, is the most effective way to eliminate most of the confusion around diet.

If you’re on the raw food diet and your hormones are totally wacky and then switch to Paleo only to find you’ve swung too far the other way, then you know you have to find a sweet spot some place in between.

The work you have to do (with the help of your coach) is to determine what factors you want to experiment with — do you want to eat low fat, high carb, do you want to take mineral supplements, do you want to try a breatharian approach (please don’t — and if your practitioner suggests it, run) — and then, the hardest part… follow through with it.

If you do, the confusion becomes empowered knowledge. And all the other solutions you’ve read about are just ideas. Ones that you may or may not need to take with you in the future — when inevitably what you’re doing now may not work as it once did. (But, you’ll know what to do, since you’ve got your coach and your blood tests… right?)

Your question of the day: Are you confused about your diet? What confuses you the most?

Kevin Gianni

Kevin Gianni is a health author, activist and blogger. He started seriously researching personal and preventative natural health therapies in 2002 when he was struck with the reality that cancer ran deep in his family and if he didn’t change the way he was living — he might go down that same path. Since then, he’s written and edited 6 books on the subject of natural health, diet and fitness. During this time, he’s constantly been humbled by what experts claim they know and what actually is true. This has led him to experiment with many diets and protocols — including vegan, raw food, fasting, medical treatments and more — to find out what is myth and what really works in the real world.

Kevin has also traveled around the world searching for the best protocols, foods, medicines and clinics around and bringing them to the readers of his blog RenegadeHealth.com — which is one of the most widely read natural health blogs in the world with hundreds of thousands of visitors a month from over 150 countries around the world.


Comments are closed for this post.

  1. I absolutely LOVE this! Thank you for sharing and helping everyone get back to basics of real. clean. organic. foods. 🙂 Blessings to you guys!!

  2. So good to hear your views again. I really miss your posts.
    Great article. I like the way you think.

    • Ann says:

      I agree! I miss your posts, Kevin! I always find such inspiration and motivation through your articles. I really appreciate your honesty most of all and how you had to change your diet based on your needs and not on judgments/opinions from others, etc! Thank you so much!

      • Kevin Gianni Kevin Gianni says:

        I’m here making sure the information you get is great! I’m not always writing articles, but I will have one or two a month as well as have full involvement in future programs and any other product development we do around here. 🙂

  3. Suzy says:

    Kevin -love your article. This is so true. we are all different, and tolerate a lot of foods differently.
    I’ve just gone to a naturopath and he put me on a cellular diet. I have a thyroid problem. they say I’m borderline and they don’t do any further tests. BUT now I have a solid thyroid nodule that seems to be growing slightly from a ultrasound. now they want to do a biopsy. I’m scared to death. Mother had thyroid cancer. I’m trying really hard but everything I read. Do this, don’t eat that. No root veggies. I’m not sure what to do. I’m also diabetic on insulin. 60 yrs. old. Thanks Suzy

    • sula says:

      Hi Suzy- I just read your comment~ and I so noticed ‘ I’m scared to death~ my mother had thyroid cancer’….I can understand why you have this fear and obvious assumption that the same thing might happen to you~ but it is not a helpful fear to carry with you. As Marshall McLuhan once said, with great insight ‘ Nothing is inevitable, so long as there is an awareness of what is happening’….

      Kevin wrote a brilliant article- and the whole thrust of it, in my perception, is empowering yourself with clear information that is relevant to you~ understanding your blood and your unique self. It is about, in some ways, being in charge with full awareness~ and charting your return to health armed with intelligent help~ your partner in seeing you through.

      Right now, in a world that shares so many insights that your Mum, bless her, might not have had access to~ you have more than every chance to restore your well-being. So I encourage you to hold that conviction in your heart and trust the choices you make. Tweak your nutrition to enhance your health~ and that can so often include softening anxiety and other moods to boot. Sending you love~ and wishing you courage!

  4. Sandra says:

    thank you so much. you have been a great help. I cannot agree more with what you have summarized in your article so well. I am 52 and a bit… and I have also battled for years to find “the right diets” for my family and I, though it constantly evades me. I swing from one extreme to the other, never finding a balance and never feeling “good” despite constantly monitoring and watching what I put in my mouth. My husband laughs when he arrives home for dinner only to be told…”we are starting a new diet from this evening…I’ve read something…”. He shakes his head, smiles, and says “what’s it going to be this time?!!

    So, I find your common sense approach very refreshing and indeed wise.

    thank you so much

  5. Lesley says:

    This is so true .. nutrition is not an exact science; if we took on board everything we read about food we’d never eat a darn thing! I too feel confused about what to eat, but I now feel confident in doing what is right for me. I’m the CEO of me and I’ll decide what I eat – I feel confident in disagreeing in some things a naturopath might say or the latest internet article. One thing I choose to strongly disagree with is this thing about ‘maximum of 2 pieces of fruit a day’. Sorry but I’m not going to ration a natural plant food bursting with vitamins and antioxidants! The thing is, what would you be eating if you weren’t eating the fruit? We’re ‘told’ to limit fruit, omit gluten and carbs, limit animal protein, avoid soy … not exactly much left is there?

  6. Judy says:

    Hear! Hear! Becoming more conscious of food, how it is grown, produced, fair trade, etc, etc, can begin to create second guessing and angst! What a wonderful article. It touches on getting connected with your body. Listening to your body. Eating wholesome foods. Indulging less on the crappy foods (over processed and over salted and sugared). Getting some regular physical activity (even walking). Practicing some relaxation and ‘be in the moment’ techniques to help combat the road rage, the fast paced life and high demand (that esp advertising put out there). Then if you want to explore further, get the blood test, see what is happening and a coach can support your goals!

    Thanks for the article!

    Oh…and chew each bite 40 times! The more you chew the more you get from each bite!


  7. Henrik says:

    I think Michael Pollan summed it up pretty well. “Eat food, not too much, mostly plants.”

    But I think it’s important to be gentle to your food as well. Which in practice means high raw, as well as clean and organic.

  8. Patricia says:

    I am very happy (now) with my diet. I too was very confused and read everything I could get my hands on and then some. I eat mostly vegan (organic), no wheat (for now anyway) and very little fruit. My weight is good and all my “vitals” are in the correct range. Also, my blood test are very good and my CRP (C-reactive protein) is very low. I listen to my body and when it tells me something (like eating too much fruit and wheat; signs like cavities, bloating, candida, etc.) I change what I am doing and handled what needs to be handled. I am 70 years old and feel the best I have for 30 years. Meat and dairy tears me up! I really do think we are not meant to eat other animals except during times when we can not get any other foods (like winter and no crops are growing). Of course, that doesn’t happen anymore but I think that is the only time the body needs animal protein and fat.
    And on my birthday and my husband’s birthday be feast and eat what every we want. My body recovers quickly from it and I continue on with the Vegan. I also (and I think this is important) only eat foods that I like. Fortunately I love potatoes, rice, beans, greens, nuts, seeds, etc. And I don’t eat only one thing all the time. I like variety and try to make food interesting and fun to eat. Listen to your body, don’t get in the way of it healing itself and enjoy!

  9. michelle says:

    right on! How else can anyone explain the placebo effect? “Positive mental attitude can dramatically affect your longevity. Though my own personal research, I’m pretty confident that stress and negativity is just as bad (or maybe worse) than processed flour and processed sugar”, to me, is spot on! Jollean, I HIGHLY recommend Mind over Medicine…it’s an eye opener! I’m pickin up, what you’re layin down girl! Great article Kevin! Bless that REAL food, and eat it with love!

  10. Eat just about everything from nature. Don’t eat anything that doesn’t come in a box or a can. As Jack LaLane said, “If man made it, don’t eat it.”

    • clarification … i think you meant DONTt eat anything that comes in a box or a can???? LOL totally agree with that, except for occasional condiments used rarely.
      I have done the diet pilgrimage for 40 years and am high raw vegan because it just feels right, esp morally, not to eat animals or their products … just human decency … at some level we are all connected to everything and each other … that includes the animals abused for our table. That cannot possibly be energetically good for us physically or spiritually. That is how I see it. We are not just food machines there are many other levels to address to wellbeing. The SAD and food industry is a travesty and a disgrace perpetrated on the ignorant by the ignorant. It is time to include looking at the vibrational energy of what we eat.

  11. Eve says:

    Kevin, you are the BEST!
    Your absence has given you inspiration……….
    If I cancelled my health site subscriptions and kept just one…….it would be yours.

  12. Kathy says:

    Great article! I couldn’t agree more.

  13. cheryl says:

    thank you , great article, I’m working with a homeopath now but he doesn’t do blood test, after reading this I am going to look for an MD that does proper testing.

  14. Sufiyo says:

    Fantastic article, offering and authentic sharing Kevin. This is why you are the longest-standing health advocate’s blog I actually read – and have been since your humble beginnings 🙂 Seriously, I acknowledge and applaud your work and openness. Blessings & Gratitude for you! 🙂

  15. Kevin, you are doing a great job outlining the important issues: first, eliminate toxic industrial food, and stay away from the white-death foods (refined sugar, white flour, refined salt, refined vegetable oil), and eat lots of raw, enzyme-rich foods. Focus on wholesome, biodynamically or at least organically grown foods.

    The really big point is the one that you call genetics. We inherit specific preferences. Our ancestors adapted to the climate in which they lived, and developed metabolic systems that have a preference for either proteins and fats (mostly hunters), for mixed (mostly fishermen), or for carbs like fruits and grains (mostly farmers, or people living in tropics). They passed it onto us.

    And even more interesting is whether we generate energy mostly from the oxidative or the autonomic systems – because the former has you alkalizing by proteins, while the latter has you alkalizing by carbs. So the best answer to what one should eat is “the specific mix of foods that is right for you”. Fortunately there is a way to get to the bottom of that. Watch the free videos that explain Metabolic Typing and how it is applied at http://www.remarkablehealth.com/mt/

  16. Mary says:

    This is such a good article and so true. I have been dealing with cancer for the past 5 1/2 years and find that my diet now is different then when I started. I was vegan for 4 years, and I think that was very needed at that time, but then I really started craving meat and eggs. There are some supplements I took for several years and just felt they weren’t needed anymore or no longer helping. I take very few anymore. I think it’s important to try and tune into you body as much as possible and I think it will tell you what you need. I have not done blood tests and am finally getting to a point where I can do that (except for vit D3 which I have tested for). There is so much out there and it can be overwhelming but sometimes you just have to trust your gut.

  17. Arhat says:

    Any discussion about “what should you eat?” makes confusion bigger and greater.
    Whats good for me, mustn´t be good for you. And vice-versa.

  18. Brenda says:

    Great article Kevin!
    Being a Naturopath/energy healer for the last 24 years, you just gave my speech. 🙂
    Yep! I am one of those professionals that assist people in finding their way to what is best for them.
    I appreciate your evolution Kevin. I appreciate you. I have said that before, many times.
    peace & hugs

  19. Mary says:

    Thank you for one of the most useful articles on food I have read. Most raw foodists can be pretty rigid in their beliefs. David Wolfe has gotten critisism himself because he refuses to be that way.

    For those of us on Medicare, it may be impractical to find a physician who is truly versed in both allopathic and nutrition/foods.

    So many physicians today won’t even allow a person on Medicare to become a patient and so many of us haven’t the funds to pay for the care we would like to get.

    I am just reading The Bodies Many Cries for Water. Is he correct? With just water he was able to stop the intense pain of fellow prisoners in an Iranian political prison. While Quackwatch questions his accuracy, I listened to his results.

    I don’t know and I would rather give water/salt a try than take toxic drugs so often prescribed. I did increase my water today but not to what he recommends yet. I probably was not drinking enough. At about 6.000 feet, adequate water is even more essential.


  20. Great article. I to believe in the principle of bio-individuality. Meaning that, the best specific biological balance is unique to each individual in such a way that, the foods and the drinks one consumes, and the lifestyles that one lives, are specific to one’s own body. In other words, there is no one-size-fits-all food intake as far as concerns type and ration and/or lifestyle. What one consumes and the lifestyle that one lives vary from one individual to another with respect to: age, sex, culture, physical activity level, time and the some.

    You gave her a very good advice, to find a coach. Before I became a Certified Holistic Health Coach I had a coach to support and guide me to determine the right nourishments for my own body. One of the reason I decided to be a holistic health coach was to first of all to help myself determine the right nourishment for my body and then support and guide others to do the same for themselves. There is no end to this confusion out about what to eat, how to eat, and what not to eat etc. etc.

    As a certified holistic coach, I show individuals who are ready to take responsibility of their own health how to increase their energy level, prevent chronic degenerative conditions such as diabetes, certain cancers, arthritis, obesity, and much more without dieting, depravation or “military” exercise.

    Jollean, if you have not found a coach yet, please get in contact with me. I am very willing to support and guide you determine the right nourishment for your own body. I believe you are ready to take responsibility of your whole health.

  21. Kevin,
    Just want to thank you for that very honest and sensibly written article! You’re helping a lot of confused people like us who’ve been trying hard to eat right but still wondering whether we are on the right track because we keep hearing contradicting views!
    Thank you very much again and God bless you!

    Pick King Chiew

  22. Renata says:

    EDGAR CAYCE was a sleeping prophet who went into trance and connected with the Akashic Records and gave protocols for everyone that came to see him on what to do to heal. There is a book I am reading right now called “Edgar Cayce HEALING FOODS For Body, Mind and Soul” which is a “spiritual book” with “heavenly advice” as well as a book which gives a food list of all the foods your body should eat for optimum healing and function. What to do if you are diabetic, need to lose weight, have cancer, have migraines, arthritis etc…all in a simple book. He shares about proper food combining. What foods to eat together and what foods not to eat together as that will lead to poor digestion, assimilation and elimination… soooo simple and laid out in this small 170 page book I got from the library. Alot of things you will know but new things you will not know about. Something to learn here. Also it is not just food but your thoughts and emotions and relaxation all need to be accounted for. Before you eat look at everything and say “Wonderful” and then eat what is there with happiness and positive energy. Never eat when exhausted or angry. Simple tips you can find in this book and a list of optimum foods for an optimum healthy body. Great tips here. Just thought to share. I would love to post the food list on my facebook page for everyone to see. With optimum suggestions of What to eat at breakfast / lunch / dinner advised by Edgar Cayce. PEACE.

  23. Caroline says:

    Been sick, been raw, been confused, been addicted to supplements and finally came up with what works for me. Eat clean, simple and sparingly. Give and receive love. Be grateful and humble. Quantun Physics.

  24. Pete says:

    Before I read this article, I thought to myself – “Kevin is going to say it’s different for everybody. He will give some good but small suggestions, and won’t fully answer the question that he asks.” And that’s how I feel about this article. I do see the wisdom in not being too rigid – like the 30 bananas a day people. However, I also see the wisdom in promoting something beyond. “look elsewhere (find a coach) and get your blood tested”.

    Personally, I miss your “High Raw”, mostly vegan approach. I understand that the High Raw, mostly vegan diet can fit into an “organic whole foods” diet. But it seems you no longer recommend that diet over and above eating organic pork all day, so long as your blood tests and your coach say it’s OK. As little animal suffering as possible, as unprocessed as possible (yes this often might mean raw), and as many plants as possible (no this does not always mean 100% vegan).

    I do love your open mind, but I watch your early videos, and they were loaded with enthusiasm and energy, similar to long-term vegans Jay Kordich, Karan Calabrese and Gabriel Cousens. It’s that extremely high energy that drew me in like a magnet to the community here, and I guess I just feel some of that is missing. Otherwise, this is a nice article with some good suggestions.

    Many Blessings,

  25. Susan says:

    Absence really does make the heart grow fonder. It’s nice to see everyone show their appreciation for you. Usually there is one weirdo that has to oppose everything that you write or accuse you of jumping ship (or the raw food cart).

  26. Rose says:

    Hi Kevin,
    You are so right.! It is incredible, isn’t? You have done so much research and experimented every diet and in the end your body can only tell you what’s right for you. I have food allergies and problem with diets all my life. I think I am finally eating without been bloated and in pain. Eating as much as I can organic, vegetables and fruit and most of all a positive mental attitude.
    Thanks so much for sharing all your work. All the Best to you and family!

  27. INA says:

    Great article, Kevin. First time I agree 100% with a health expert. There is no perfect diet that works for everybody, there are too many individual factors involved. I also agree with comments that state: If it is made by man, don’t eat it – that should solve a lot of diet problems to start with.

  28. sula says:

    Kevin` this is one of the clearest, most insightful articles I have ever read~ so thank you.

    I used to be All Raw which helped me greatly~ for a while~ now I have one ‘dietary’ principle~

    Never eat ‘ought tos’ or ‘shoulds’ or ‘musts’ or ‘or elses’. Even ‘can’ts’ aren’t that good for you.

    I know my current way of eating, on paper, would have so many experts in paroxysms…..but hey…

    thanks again for the clarity~ ‘gaps are a fine thing sometimes 🙂

  29. Pam Dix says:

    Dear Kevin,
    PERFECTLY said! Exactly my experience and I’m finally healthy and balanced!
    Thank you and many Blessings to You and your family!

  30. Zyxomma says:

    No, Kevin, I’m not confused about my diet at all. I love and enjoy my organic, vegan, wheat free food. I love preparing it as much as I love consuming it. And as for “find a coach,” I am a coach. Sure, I could probably know more from blood tests, but I have other priorities now. When they’re all dealt with, and when the time is right, I’ll locate a functional, integrative practitioner, and work with him/her to find out anything I don’t know. You’re right, we’re all individuals. For example, my mother forced food on me (milk, eggs, meat) because it made her feel good; she refused to believe me when I told her how bad it made me feel. It’s been over 40 years since I took responsibility for my own health, and I’ve studied the entire time, including school with a naturopath. I never stop learning. Health and peace.

  31. Beth says:

    Thanks Kevin, for a great discussion on “What the heck should I eat?” It’s all so true. You described it all so well.
    I’m 62 and have been doing the same thing as the questioner here, searching, experimenting with different diets and following the advice of various diet gurus’s for over 30 years. What’s most confusing for me is trying to figure out just what’s right for me individually because it’s just such a complex process. I’ve finally found an altenative MD who has done extensive blood and some genetic testing on me and I feel like I’m finally getting on the right track. But., no one person can tell you what’s best for how and what you should eat. It’s a constant process of paying attention to your own body and discovering what works for you individually and finding out what your body’s needs are and if you have deficiencies then finding out what to do to correct them first nutritionally and lifestyle wise. Beyond the basics there’s just no one answer to that question.

  32. Holly says:

    Great read! Thank you! Could you please offer any information or suggestions on where to purchase a non-toxic couch? Ours was still offgassing after 2 years & I had to move the cushions out of the house.

  33. lisette says:

    sounds like you have done some serious maturing. your coach is doing a very good job.
    you are right about the lineage and we do think to much sometimes about what to do.
    I have done changes through the years depending on work, family demands, stress, loneliness.
    finding balance seems to be a forever chalenge. I eat mostly bio,vegetarian and every 6 to 8 weeks I need a lamb gigot with garlic and mint and I can eat it by myself with nothing to accompany it.It comes from a need to fill up on I dont know what and then, I am done.I feel good and I digest it super well. Then, I go back to much lighter food. It seems that whenever you think you know, you dont know anything. Maybe your soul is the expert.

  34. I’m still as confused as a termite in a yo-yo. It’s been yrs and yrs since I felt good. I have major teeth, jaw issues so I can’t chew any raw veggie, and most raw fruits(except soft, very soft), so I must blend them, or juice. I can eat some clean meats, chew them.Rice is a no go for me. I’m also gluten, dairy and grain free. Plus with my Type 1 diabetes(very brittle, ck blood sugars up to 12 x daily) even Joel Furhmans ETL program with beans(1 cup daily) and other carbs, my blood sugar sky-rocketed. And I have major digestive issues. I would love to do all raw, but I can’t digest well enough for that. The resources are not there for a coach or alot of medical testing but I do see my ND(bless her she doesn’t charge me!), and my last hair analysis was horrible. All my minerals were almost nil, showing I wasn’t digesting even my supplements, thus I began blending more of my veggies, instead of juicing them. The best I felt was back in the early 90’s when I did George Malkmus’s program of 85% raw and 15% cooked, vegan, with tons of carrot juice. But my mouth issues weren’t there(have had multiple car accidents/trauma to my head) and now it blows my blood sugar up, including other things. So, I’m still praying, seeking and trying to find something that works, esp with my adrenal issues now, which are severe. My body does tend to crave meats/cheese, eggs and when I have these it’s wild, raw or organic grass fed, but then I feel badly and think I need to return to plant only(you know the cancer and killing of animals thing). So, I know that part of my issue lies within my brain, being overly concerned about it. Thanks sooo much for your post. You’re always an inspiration to me when I read you. I’ve gotten to the place that I realize that anyone who says “This works for everyone” is wrong, though I still haven’t figured out the right way for me. But, I’m not quitting! Its folks like you who remind me to continue towards healing, never give up.

    • Have you checked into the GAPS diet by Dr. Natasha Campbell McBride? Many of your symptoms match an imbalanced microbiome. It may go against the newage (imo, mis-guided) spiritualist ideals of veganism and vegetarianism, but I know it has helped many people in a simular situation.

      IMO, being in harmony with nature is accepting the life / death cycle and knowing that for you to live, MANY things must give up their lives for you to do so. Everything lives and everything dies but not everything needs to suffer. Dying is not suffering just as killing is not anti-spiritual. It’s our perceptions and judgements that give meaning to life. Events are just events. Any meaning they hold for us is given by us. Today, we lack the knowledge of what living in harmony and wholistically really means. We have become disconnected with our food by our technology and by our means of transporting it from one corner of the globe to another. We have lost the wisdom of our ancestors that tells us that to live, something must die. We have become separated and disconnected from this knowledge because our food is given to us in exchange for money. We are out of the karmic loop in terms of our food choices and their effects on our environment and this is why there is so much confusion as to what to eat. Not only are our jobs and materials being outsourced but so are the effects of our food choices. We don’t see the suffering of the Indian farmers that grow our eggplants or the suffering inflicted on the migrant workers working long, laborious hours in a fruit or vegetable picking operation that provide us with our organic tomatoes or organic peaches. In truth, we have no idea how our food choices are effecting the welfare of our fellow humans and animals on this planet. Every choice we make has some degree of the life and death cycle associated with it. What most people discuss in terms of what diet is best for them and what food choices are best for them represents a completely monistic and simplistic approach to their thinking, and that what ever the result may be from this isolated thinking, cannot be healthful, fundamentally, because it is completely out of sync from what is naturally in balance with our planet’s needs, resources, and therefore it’s health. The inhabitants of this planet can only remain as healthy as the environment in which they live. For us to understand what are the best foods for us to consume, we must first seek out connection with our food and understand how our choices are affecting everything living thing around us. Once we have this connection, then we can truly start to see what the best diet and food choices may be.

  35. Laurie says:

    Thank you for this article! It is very freeing. I, too, am asked a lot what I eat and I try to explain how everyone is so different and what I eat may not work for them. I LOVE this article.

  36. Deane Alban says:

    I agree that how you eat today will almost certainly not be how you are eating in the future. I’ve been through vegetarian, macrobiotics, “whatever I wanted”, and now paleo-ish. I recommend that no one get too militant about their diet because they may find by the time they are my age, they’ve had to change their diet a few times… and eat their words!

  37. Mike Maybury says:

    I’ve been a wholefood vegetarian for over 60 years. Now, at age 78 I have no aches and pains and no current health problems.
    I had ‘flu once as an adult. I’ve not had a cough or cold for over 9 years. On Thursday I seemed to strain the tendon that operates mu index finger, which became tender to touch and was painful on extension. I checked with a pharmacist who told me that it might takes months to clear up. Today it is no longer tender and stretches to limit as normal! The boody is clever at healing itself if you treat it well.
    Most of my life I’ve danced regularly, which is a great fun way to exercise. Because most men seem to spend their time drinking and standing round with beer i in their hands, I got more than my fair share of girls.
    Plenty of fruits and vegetables are the most important part of my food intake, both raw and cooked. Eat wholegrains whenever possible, like whole-wheat bread- far better and tastier than white.
    Plenty of water with occasional smoothies and juices. I think that soya milk is preferable to cows milk.
    During most of my life I did not take supplements. However, for the last 15 years I think that the fod value of our crops, due to modern farming methods, is deficient. Also,, we can’t get all the variety of berries, fruits and vegebles year round at reasonable prices, so I take a lot of supplemts like pomegranate, garlic etc.
    Instead of salt I use a mixture of equal parts of ginger,black pepper and salt (or lo-salt) with a little chilli ( I don’t like heat!) and herbs. Feel free to copy!

  38. Rebecca Cody says:

    Just such confusion led me to become a nutritional therapy practitioner. My studies were based first on Weston A Price’s work, and emphasized our biological individuality. We also read many, many other important nutrition books, studied a fair amount of anatomy and physiology, and learned ways to palpate the organs to see which needed extra support.

    In the 1930s Dr Price traveled the world, studying in depth 29 groups of people who were healthy and had not yet been sucked into the processed foods way of life. They all had different diets. Obviously, Eskimos living near the arctic circle weren’t eating the same foods as Pacific islanders or natives in the heart of Africa. Yet, the groups he studied all had near perfect health. Since he was a dentist he paid special attention the the teeth and dental development. These various groups of people had almost no dental cavities and they had perfect mouths without crowded teeth. One woman had successfully carried and raised something like 26 healthy children!

    Price preferred vegetarianism and kept looking for a healthy vegetarian group. He never found one. In fact, all the totally healthy groups he studied ate animal foods to one degree or another. They all especially prized organ meats, which are far richer in nutritional value than steaks and chicken breasts. Of course, their foods weren’t artificial in any way. They came straight from nature. That is what we all need to strive for. Interestingly enough, all these groups also prized and thrived on animal fats.

    So I find myself confused all over again, because I read people like Joel Fuhrman, Dr Esselstyn, and others who have important track records of reversing heart disease, diabetes, and other serious diseases with vegan or near-vegan diets very low in fats.

    So, you’re right. We have to experiment and find what works for us. We need to know the status of our bodies, a baseline of test numbers to help us see in the future if what we are doing is working or not, in case it doesn’t make us feel so bad that we already know.

    Thanks, Kevin, for your honesty and willingness to share the changes you’ve made over the years. I thought I was the only one constantly experimenting to see what works best, so it’s great to know you and many of your readers are seeking individual truth, just as I am.

  39. Jenny says:

    This article just supports what I have been thinking all along: It depends on who you talk to on what you are going to hear about the topic. Thanks K, for this article, we need to listen to our bodies!

    “Being fit and feeling healthy is NO GUARENTEE of your health”, this statement scared me! I try to make the healthier choices where it comes to diet, but found my system still needed support. I found one Company that can measure whether their products are being absorbed with a highly scientific, but non-expensive scan that takes less than a minute! My health has drastically improved over the last year. jennyns@vodamail.co.za

  40. joey g says:

    Hello Mike and Others, (care to commet)

    I have just finished reading the foresaid article; can you further eloborate as well other readers about why a raw food diet was not agreeable to you can further explain why…You stated that it messed up your hormones and digestion, I know you choose organic? What signs did you see that you knew your hormones were messed up and digestion was not right.

    Were you 100% raw of did you mix it up a bit, and still found these symptoms.. What happened when you learned that your hormones were being affected being a man that caused your concern. Yet you had been such an advocate of raw blended vegtables.

    I have read the primary concern of raw was too much spinach and kale was of the only thing of importance because it could effect your hormoones..Ok thanks

  41. Dee says:

    That’s why I love this website. Kevin is the only person who has the cajones to speak the truth about diet like this. And he is spot on about mold and mercury toxicity. I used to be able to eat many raw veggies. After living in a moldy house my health declined see severely. I moved out but I didn’t get well. It took two more years to figure out that I was mercury toxic. I have no idea which came first, chicken or egg, with regard to mold and Mercury. I just know that both of them took my health out and down. After 20 years of being vegetarian and some of that time being vegan, I went on the gaps diet, And now I’m on a low thiol diet as recommended by Andrew Cutler PhD. Low thiol diet is crucial when you’re mercury toxic (at least for 50% of us). That means no broccoli, no kale, no green beans, no asparagus, no cauliflower, no garlic, no mustard in addition to a whole lot of other things I can’t eat for probably another year. It may not sound healthy to most of you, but cutting these things out of my diet has made a huge difference in my well-being and has made me able to go to work every day without being in pain. Kevin is completely right about not being able to eat “healthy foods” while others can, But it’s exactly the right thing to do the right now for me. And that will change in about a year or two When the Mercury is out of my system.

    I continue to be impressed by Kevin’s knowledge and his attitude that eating and health.

  42. Paul says:


    Yeah great article. I think we shouldn’t be focussed on this or that diet but what they have in common. Both paleo and raw cut the white flour, sugar and processed foods. Just doing that has made a big difference to my own health and I have tried raw and paleo and now I don’t do either. I just eat as Michael Polan says mostly plants and not too much of anything and eating real food not that processed stuff labelled as food.


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